Have you thought about what your definition of self-care is? With what is going on in the world, it is a topic that has been coming up frequently. Many people are spending more time at home, they are working from home, not able to see their friends, extended family, and are either not able to have any alone time or have too much alone time.
I’ve had some women look at me with no idea how to answer the question of what self-care means to them. These women felt that they have had to give up trying to find time to take of themselves and some have had to drastically change their view on what self-care looks like.
The dictionary definition states that self-care is: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
What is your definition of self-care? Has it changed? Is it a bath, massage, mani/pedi, reading a book? Maybe it is taking a nap, watching a movie, having a good meal, dancing, yoga, being in nature, a conversation with a friend? Maybe your definition is finding some time, any time to be alone? It can be as simple as brushing your hair, your teeth, a moment to drink a cup of coffee or tea, waking up without an alarm, sitting in the sunshine for a moment
I encourage you to think about your definition. You could journal about your thoughts, talk it out with someone, or meditate about it – whatever feels best to you. The important thing is to get some clarity on what SELF-CARE means to you – not your spouse, best friend, partner, your co-worker, or anyone else. You are unique and what you want and need to take care of yourself is not the same as what anyone else needs.
Sometimes it can feel selfish when you are focusing on self-care, but it is true what they say, you cannot take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Know that depending on what is going on in your life, you may need to shift or adjust your self-care activities. For example, if life is feeling hectic and you have more things on your plate and are feeling an increase in stress, you will want to check in and make sure that your self-care activities are not adding to the stress in your life – or that they have not completely disappeared. You want your self-care activities to feel doable, to fill you up, and to feel good.
Remember, each of us has our own definition, thoughts of what self-care is, what it looks like. I believe that self-care is an act of self-love. When I am practicing self-care activities I am showing myself some love. Although, lately my self-care activities have shifted and I have been craving more connection with friends and family and spending time outside – because of all of the social distancing this past year due to COVID.
What does self-care look like to you?
If you feel like you don’t have time for self-care, can you start by taking a moment to simply think about what self-care means to you? What small acts could you incorporate in your day, week, or month that would feel good to you? Acts that feel doable, that would show yourself some love.
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Katie Reed